President Barack Obama has a new hurdle to selling his Iran deal on Capitol Hill: Bipartisan opposition to his decision to submit the nuclear accord to the United Nations before Congress votes on the agreement.
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said on Thursday afternoon that they disagreed with the U.S. pushing the agreement through the UN before Congress votes this September to approve or reject it, a troubling development for an administration still trying to win over both men.
Cardin, the top Democrat on the committee, questioned Vice President Joe Biden about the matter during a closed door meeting with committee Democrats on Thursday. He said Biden responded with an explanation of the “differences between the executive and legislative branches.” That didn’t satisfy Cardin, who said Obama should put the brakes on UN consideration until Congress has 60 days to review the bill, a period that technically hasn’t even started yet because the agreement has not been formally submitted to Capitol Hill.
“There was nothing to be lost by waiting until after the review period was over,” Cardin said in an interview. “It could be inconsistent [with how Congress votes] and therefore it would have been better if that had been deferred until after the 60-day period.”